The American flags are in aisle 269. And yes, there is an aisle 269.
Menards opened Tuesday in Pierre after a series of delays that pushed the date back from March, but now Pierre has the largest Menards store — not just in the state of South Dakota, but in the world.
“That’s what my operations manager told us all yesterday,” said Tom Boehde, the store’s general manager.
Boehde did not know offhand how large the store is, but by comparison, the Eden Prairie, Minnesota store, built in 2011, is 235,000 square feet.
That’s roughly 5½ acres.
The Pierre store – including parking lot space – is situated on 17.36 acres of property on North Garfield Avenue, in the quickly expanding northeast corner of Pierre.
Menards, the third-largest home improvement chain in the United States, is in 14 states, from Ohio to Wyoming, Boehde said.
“And pretty much every state in between,” he added.
What makes Menards different from a Home Depot or a Lowes is that it carries more inventory — and not just in home improvement items.
“We’re your one-stop shop. We’ve a little bit of everything,” he said. “Patio furniture. A small grocery department, plumbing, electrical — everything you’re going to need.”
Boehde noted that the store attracted a lot of interest. Even with the opening scheduled for 6:30 a.m., a handful of people still lined up that early to be the first ones in the door.
“People are just finally figuring out that we’re open, and the people that have been in here have been excited. A lot of compliments on how beautiful the store is,” he said.
The layout is different from other Menards stores because it has a rear mezzanine for storage. This is in addition to the front mezzanine, which will be used for seasonal items, such as Christmas trees. The front mezzanine is a feature in every Menards, Boehde said.
A bridge connects the two mezzanines.
Boehde has enjoyed his time so far — getting the store open and hiring the people for the store, he said.